Court postpones deadly Aladağ dormitory fire case to July
An Adana court has postponed the case into the deadly Aladağ dormitory fire that killed 11 children and one adult on Nov. 29, 2016 in the southern province of Adana to July 17, Doğan News Agency reported on May 30.
One of the students injured in the fire, 13-year-old Seda Topbaş, gave testimony to court in the trial, saying the fire exit was locked when the fire erupted.
“We were studying when the fire erupted. We ran to the fire exit but it was locked. When we became unable to breathe, we had to jump out of the building. [Dormitory officials] never carried out fire drills,” Topbaş said.
The mother of one of the victims, Teslime Aydoğdu, said relatives of the suspects were offered bribes to give up the case.
“They burned my children. We will not be afraid. We will not give up. They offered us bribes. They are trying to scare us,” Aydoğdu said.
The father of one of the other victims, Mustafa Avcı, also said he had been offered a bribe to abandon the case.
“They offered me 30,000 Turkish Liras to give up the case. If they are innocent, why are they offering us money?” he said.
On May 4, the indictment prepared by the Aladağ Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office leveled involuntary manslaughter charges against seven suspects over the fire, seeking prison terms between two and 15 years.
Seven suspects had been arrested on Dec. 4, 2016.
Ten students, an instructor, and the dormitory manager’s 4-year-old daughter were among those killed in the fire.
On Jan. 23, the court ordered the release of the four suspects pending trial, who are members of the Aladağ Aid Association to Course and School Students. The other three suspects, including dormitory manager Cumali Genç and the head of the association, identified only as İsmail U., remain under arrest.